Deputy Senate of the President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, has assured Nigerian journalists of better welfare. He gave the assurance while speaking at the Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award organised by the Nigerian Breweries in Lagos yesterday.
According to him, the government values the importance of journalism profession, and would ensure better welfare for them when the need arises.
“Journalists were at the forefront of the nation’s independence and democratic journey. We want to let you know that the government values you and will do everything possible to ensure you have better welfare, especially in the course of your job.
“We also need to remind you that we value press freedom, so ensure that you write objectively and even areas you have found government officials wanting or worthy of praise, please write appropriately,” he said.
Also, Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, Mr. John Momoh, lamented the maltreatment being meted on journalists by some of their employers, which includes salary delay and lack of adequate working tools.
He said some journalists have been forced to compromise on their jobs because they have not been receiving fair treatment which would encourage them to uphold their oath of objectivity in reporting.
In his address, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, said the organisation had been involved in active support for journalists through its annual Golden Pen Award.
The night of glitz and glamour saw Tobi Aworinde of The Punch Newspaper emerge as the NB Golden Pen Reporter of the Year. The first runner-up was Gbenga Salau of The Guardian Newspaper, while Charles Abah, also of The Punch emerged as the second runner-up.
Sodiq Adelakun of The Punch Newspaper received the Photo Journalist of the year award. Also, Punch’s Odutayo Odusanya emerged as the first runner-up in the same category, while Ayodele Ojo of The Sun Newspaper was the second runner-up. Gabriel Dike, an education reporter with The Sun Newspaper won the ‘NB Report of the Year’.
All the winning journalists also got cash prizes and high-end mobile devices as part of the reward package.